Friends & Foes: It’s time for political rogues to go

Johannesburg – There has been a lot of speculation about whether ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule will this week finally pack his bags and leave the party’s Luthuli House headquarters in central Joburg as per the instructions of his own party’s executive almost month ago.

Indications are that the former Free State strongman has been put on a tight leash. For a month, Magashule seems to have been agonising on whether he must obey orders or face the prospect of being forcefully made to walk via the extreme political options.

Those options, we have been made to understand, include the prospects of being suspended, which could lead to expulsion; the first time this would happen to the governing party’s secretary-general.

It’s been politically strenuous for Magashule and his allies. Tragedy seems to have befallen them.

They now certainly face what appears to be the wrath of their own political ineptitude.

Instead of smouldering with anger, Magashule must be advised to at least take some time to reflect on the political calamity he has unleashed since he became the party’s secretary-general.

He must reflect on why what was once the most authoritative office, which had always been expected to promote national values and efficiency through the men and women it deploys in government, has instead become continuously used for handing voters politicians of questionable moral and political standing. Politicians whom South Africa thought it had gotten rid of after Jacob Zuma’s departure were inconceivably propelled to powerful positions as chairpersons of parliamentary portfolio committees as Magashule sought to strengthen his hand.

Since he was elected, his office has steadily been used to prop up Zuma and everything he stood for when he was South Africa’s president.

It is not only ANC members but the general South African populace who have witnessed the promise of a new order – free of malfeasance – being consistently frustrated since Magashule’s arrival in Joburg following his departure from the Bloemfontein headquarters of the Free State government.

In Free State, everything happened according to his own wish and at a time of his own choosing.

The time for the ANC to stop dwelling in frivolities is now. It must be well advised to use Magashule’s imminent departure as the beginning of its much talked about process of self-correction.

Ridding itself of political rogues must be its first priority if the party hopes to restore the trust of the public.

Otherwise, they must be prepared to face the wrath of ordinary voters, which party president Cyril Ramaphosa alluded to at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture this week.

Wally Mbhele is the editor of Sunday World Newspaper.

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